Daimler CEO and chairman of the board Dieter Zetsche has admitted he was surprised at the progress companies such as Apple and Google have made in their automobile efforts. Zetsche recently traveled to Silicon Valley and met with several companies there.
German weekly Welt am Sonntag, via Auto News:
“Our impression was that these companies can do more and know more than we had previously assumed. At the same time they have more respect for our achievements than we thought,”
“There were concrete talks. I will not say anything about the content,” Zetsche added. “It was not just about the fact that there is an innovative spirit in the Valley. We know that already. We wanted to see what drives it, and all the things that can be created from it.”
Just one year ago, Zetsche was dismissive of Apple’s possible entry into the auto industry, comparing Apple’s efforts to Mercedes building a smartphone. At the time, Zetsche quipped that he wasn’t losing any sleep over the idea.